Monday, July 30, 2012

5 Must Have Apps for Searching

As we shift our online usage to a more mobile platform, companies are scrambling to keep up with the technology. Like the Commodore 64 or MySpace, some will be left behind, however in my opinion the five below will emerge as the leaders of real estate mobile app searches.
1) True to form, is the best, easiest and broadest app out of all of them. Although I have had my issues with NAR, and have voiced them here, when it comes to technology and staying ahead of the curve, I believe they have spent a ton of money to make sure that happens.   I found the navigation to be very intuitive and looking for houses and prices was an enjoyable experience. With features such as checking for nearby houses, prices, realtor search, favorite properties it makes searching a snap. could arguably be just the only app you need for all your real estate searches. All the others are chasing NAR and It’s a free app so you have no excuses in not checking this app first. I really could have stopped the list at one.

2) Again, I have had my issues with Zillow (don't worry fellow Zillow freedom fighters. I no-followed this link.), however they too have obviously spent a lot of money on their mobile web platform, and it shows. It's mapping section is better than, and it integrates well with the GPS on the Iphone, so you can find a listing that looks interesting and then get directions, and follow your way there. Zillow has proven that they are going nowhere.

3) I put Evernote on this list because it is extremely useful for jotting down notes or taking pictures. One of my favorite features about Evernote is the fact it syncs over the cloud. You can install Evernote on your desktop, iPad or Android tablet so your information can be changed or added anywhere online or offline.
All of your notes and information will stay on there and it won’t take up any space on your device. Even if you are finished looking for houses this app will still be useful as a digital journal. It also features voice notes as well. You will have to create an account first but it is free and that login is the key to your journal. Highly recommended for everybody.

4) House Hunter is another house locator app. One feature that really caught my eye is being able to set the importance of each amenity of the house. For example you could set the importance of your backyard, acreage, waterfront, view, etc. and work your way down the list.

After you complete the score you can add the custom profile and search for houses. It also has a mortgage calculator which comes in handy. This app does cost $3.99 (which dooms it long term.)  so you should use the apps above to see if they meet your needs. There is a “light” version of this app but it makes it barely usable as you can’t create custom profiles and barriers to most of the functionality before telling you to purchase the app.

5) Zip Realty is another free app with a good fast search engine. It has partnered with NAR somehow (I would love to see the numbers they are paying.) and they have over 500,000 MLS listed houses. Locally however they do not have any SCMLS (Sullivan County) listings, only GHVMLS (Greater Hudson Valley) listings. As a side note I have noticed that quite a few web searches, including RE/MAX.COM do not have a feed to SCMLS. This is yet another reason to ensure that your home is listed with an agent who is a member of both.

There were ten single family homes reported sold in the SCMLS in the last ten days. Click Here for Data

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fireworks Cancelled

I just heard that the Narrowsburg Firework display has been cancelled for this year. And I must say I am incredulous. Over caution and political correctness have always been a bit of a sore spot with me, but this is taking it to a whole new level. Apparently last year someone went to the River Reporter with a story of a fledgling bald eagle that was a bit shook up by the merriment. The story does not divulge how shook up the baby eagle was, or how this person even knew this. At any rate, It brought in the big bad federally over financed United States Fish and Wildlife Service.( I am picturing black Humvees). Anyone who disrupts or injures a Bald Eagle will face up to a 200K fine and a year in jail was decreed.

The volunteer fire department who do this show as an act of patriotism and to raise money so they have the correct equipment when they run into a burning building (for free) to save you or your family talked it over and decided it was not worth the risk. The skies over Narrowburg Bay will be silent this 4th. Chalk another one up for bureaucratic overreaction. Families usually come from all over the state for this day in Narrowsburgh which culminates with a pretty fantastic firework show. One that celebrates our freedom. God forbid a baby eagle gets to sleep a bit later. When did common sense stop?

I don't want to make this bigger than it is, however when the government forbids an act like the celebration of our freedom, over the ridiculous ruse that it may agitate some local wildlife, I think it is time to pay attention. Common sense needs to previal, and we as a collective people need to stand up against this sort of (albiet minor) oppression.

There were 21 sold listings reported in the Sullivan County MLS over the last 10 days Click Here for Listings